Dr. Breen's Private Reserve, written "Dr>Breens Private Reserve", or simply >B, is the brand of a drink manufactured by the Combine, named after Earth's Administrator Wallace Breen, and used as another propaganda tool. Vending machines for that drink are seen around City 17.
Like the water, the ">B" drink probably affects the memory of Citizens; "Don't drink the water. They put something in it to make you forget. I don't even remember how I got here," says a Citizen at the start of Half-Life 2. Similar to what is seen in the original Half-Life and its expansions, the vending machines deliver blue cans with ">B" written on them, although they don't give health points to the player, being simple props. However, a view of the can model in the Source SDK model viewer show alternate colors, red and yellow. It is possible the team considered at some point giving the cans the same properties as in Half-Life and its expansions, but it was scrapped for some reason, Health Chargers, Medkits and health vials being considered a sufficient health source.
The first vending machine is seen at the very start of Half-Life 2 in the City 17 Trainstation, right after the turnstile. After leaving Barney at the start of Half-Life 2, a Metrocop purposefully knocks over a ">B" can with his Stun Baton and makes the player throw it in the trash, while saying the words "Pick up that can", then laughing and saying "All right. You can go" when the order has been followed. The player also has the option of throwing the can at the cop, leave it there and step back or throw it past the cop. Either way the cop will hit or chase the player if they don't follow the order. This was made to show the player how to pick up objects with the "Use" key, as well as how to throw them.
A vending machine hides the entrance to Kleiner's Lab. It was apparently converted to open itself with a specific code.
In Episode Two, in the garage where Rebels are fixing cars near the Combine Autogun, a red ">B" can can be seen lying next to a car being repaired. This hints that other type of drinks are made, likely all affecting the drinker's health; therefore the Rebel near the can probably did not drink it. Soon after the car is fixed, both red and yellow cans can be seen on tables near a Lambda cache under a nearby tree.
Behind the scenesEdit
- The vending machine was originally a brush. It can be found in several WC mappack maps, such as City 17 Trainstation, Ravenholm or Borealis maps. The first model, similar to the current one, was a Pepsi machine. It also appears as a prefab in the Source SDK but was left unused for community maps.
- Two early can models bearing the brand "T Dog", a yellow and a red one, can be found in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta files.
- In the E3 map
e3_phystown, a vending machine spits out a copious amount of yellow T Dog cans when damaged or shot.
- The font used in the ">B" brand logos is Impact, the same font used for the Metrocop armband or the Black Mesa badge.
- ">B" is featured at the end of the first Two Bots, One Wrench video, in a sequence during which the masculine robot takes a ">B" machine as a lubricant machine and drinks a can, after which the feminine robot reads on the machine "Breen's Private Reserve..." and adds "...of urine!", causing the other robot to spit all his drink.
- The ">" in the title could be a typo or an easter egg mocking it, as it is a common mistake on US keyboards, made by many people who are used to holding down 'Shift' on their keyboard to write in capital letters, rather than using 'Caps Lock'. The title is all in capital letters, so it is fair to say that it was meant to look like as if the capital letters were done by holding down 'Shift' and the '.' was written with the 'Shift' key still pressed, making it a '>'. This "illiteracy" is further corroborated by the lack of an apostrophe indicating property (Breens instead of Breen's).
List of appearancesEdit
- Half-Life 2 (First appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Episode One
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two
- The Final Hours of Portal 2